Mrs Seinfeld cleared of cookery copying

Jerry Seinfeld's wife did not copy a cookbook author when she released her own techniques for getting children to eat vegetables, a federal appeals court concluded yesterday.

The court sided with Jessica Seinfeld in her three-year-old copyright and trademark dispute with Missy Chase Lapine, saying the books were "not confusingly similar". "Stockpiling vegetable purées for covert use in children's food is an idea that cannot be copyrighted," the appeals court said.

Lapine, author of The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals, sued Jessica Seinfeld over her cookbook – Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food. The Seinfeld book was published several months after Lapine's in 2007.

The fight boiled over when Jerry Seinfeld made light of Lapine's claims on a television show, saying his wife was being accused of "vegetable plagiarism". Lapine's lawyers had argued that Mr Seinfeld had used his TV appearance to launch a "malicious, premeditated and knowingly false and defamatory attack" on their client.

The Seinfelds' lawyer Orin Snyder said Lapine's claims had been "an abuse of the judicial system". "Two different courts have now seen through these false allegations, and that is why this case has been definitively thrown out of court."

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